Helpful tips when choosing a grave marker.
1. Cemetery Regulations and Restrictions.
Before you begin the process of selecting a monument you need to be aware
that most cemeteries have rules and guidelines that dictate the style, size
color, finish, etc. for monuments that are going in it. Most retailers will know
these rules for the cemeteries in their area. It may be a good idea for you
to contact a representative of the cemetery anyhow to be sure that you
understand their rules.
2. Selecting Style and Size of monument.
If the lot you are placing your monument on is a family lot than you will have to
decide if you are going to use one monument for all family members or separate
ones for each person. Some family lots will have one larger monument with
the family name(s) and smaller markers for each individual. Remember that
the cemetery may have rules regarding this issue so be sure to check with them.
Single lots will have only one monument on them. Usually these monuments are
smaller than family style monuments but can be larger if desired.
Most tablets and slant markers will sit on top of a base. Bases are used to
provide a nice level area and can help keep your monument protected from lawn
care equipment such as lawnmowers. They also give the monument added height
which allows inscriptions and carvings that are near the bottom to be easily read
especially if there is long grass in front of it. You can also have a base that
holds vases/urns for decoration or holding flowers.
With so many granite colors available it can be difficult to decide which one
is right for you. Your most common colors are gray (Barre), Mtn. rose (also
known as North American Pink), Canadian pink, Mahogany and Impala black.
These granites come from the States and Canada. and therefore cost less.
Jet Black and India red are very popular import granites along with Paradisio
N.H. Red, and India impala. These granites are shipped overseas from places
like Africa, India, and China. Due to the added cost of shipping, import
granites are more expensive. However the beauty of these imports
are captivating and the colors are vibrant.
One thing to consider when selecting the granite color is the contrast between
the polished stone and the letters and carving that are sandblasted into it.
Whenever polished granite is sandblasted it becomes much lighter and has
a rougher appearance. This contrast is more apparent in some colors than
others. Usually the darker the polished granite the greater the contrast. This
contrast can make carvings and letters stand out.
For added contrast Litho (colored paint) can be added to sandblast sunk
areas such as letters, panel lines and the backgrounds of carvings. Litho
is great for granites that are steeled (no polish) or for highlighting the
letters inside frosted panels. You should use a litho color that is recommended
for your granite. In most cases litho is inexpensive and will last a long time.
When selecting monument designs and carvings it is important to avoid
overcrowding the monument. If a monument has an abundance of carvings
emblems, etc. than it may lose it's focal point. One way of preventing this on
a family monument that is already carved with a design is to choose one carving
of importance for each person inscribed on the monument i.e. if one of them was
in the military than maybe a military emblem for him/her, or if someone was
involved in a club or organization one of those emblems might work, someone
involved in sports could have a basketball, or a person who loved
nature could have a deer, and so on. This way each person has a special
carving showing what they enjoyed or accomplished.
A monument that has only one name inscribed could have a few more
carvings of importance since no other names will be on it and therefore no
confusion as to who the carvings symbolize.
The Design sections of this site have been categorized by flower types.
This way if you want a rose design than you can look at the designs
that only have roses. If you want to create your own design or add elements
to an existing one then the Carving Library is the place to visit. There you
have hundreds of choices for floral carvings, emblems, crosses, etc. Be sure
to pay attention to the size of the carvings that you are choosing. Some of
them are large and may not fit onto the monument without revising them.
Also a small carving may look lost on a large monument.
Etchings are like photographs or drawings that have been scratched into
the polish of a monument. They are ideal for portraits of people and animals.
An etching can also be used for flowers and other images when great detail
is desired. Etchings should only be done on darker granites. If etched
in lighter granites it does not show enough contrast and is hard to see.
When preparing the information for the inscriptions (letters) be certain
that you have the correct spelling, middle names, birth and death dates, etc.
To check your information for accuracy it is a good idea to spell out
the names and words as you scan over them rather than just reading them.
Once this information is sandblasted into the monument it is permanent.
The size of the monument, the style of letters and the length of the names
may dictate the size of the inscriptions. Due to these factors we will decide
what size inscriptions are best. If you request a certain size we will try
to make it work. You can select the letter size for the family name.
Although if it doesn't fit we will have to determine the size.
In most cases inscriptions are placed inside frosted panels. A panel is
usually a rectangular box surrounding the inscriptions. Some other
panels used are scrolls, ribbons and books. These panels usually take up
more space but can really enhance the overall design of the monument.
Some colored granites will not have panels and the inscriptions are sunk
into the polish. This works on the darker colors because the sandblasted
letters have more contrast. Litho paint can
also be added to the inscriptions to provide contrast.